Safety Assessment of Existing Retaining Structures

Safety of infrastructure in mountainous areas strongly depends on retaining walls, which support either the foundation of highway/railway tracks or the adjacent slopes above the infrastructure. Failure of such a retaining wall can lead to immense repair work, to restriction in infrastructure availability and severe threat to human health.

An early detection of negative changes of these retaining walls is therefore of high importance. Due to the large number of retaining walls in alpine areas, it is unfeasible to equip every retaining wall with a monitoring system. The usual approach is to monitor only those walls, which are known to be problematic. This leaves most of the walls uninspected.

We therefore present a new, efficient method to monitor retaining walls along highways based on a mobile mapping system (MMS). We use a measurement platform consisting of two laser scanners, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), a differential GNSS sensor and multiple cameras. With such a multi sensor system mounted on the roof of a commercial car, data is recorded with high frequency while the car travels with up to 100 km/h along the highway. As a result, georeferenced high resolution point clouds and image data of all retaining walls along the highway are obtained. Based on this data, we develop automatic processing tequniques to derive safety crictical parameters like tilt changes. We demonstrate that it is possible to detect tilt changes with an accuracy of better than 0.1° and that block movements and surface deficiencies are identifyable.

IGMS cooperates with research partners of different fields in the SIBS project to develop new methods for the safety assessment of retaining walls. For more infos, have a look at Vöbu blog!

To top

Related publications

Lienhart W., Kalenjuk S. (2017): Combined Laser Scanning and Image Based Monitoring of Large Infrastructure Objects. IWSHM 2017, September 12th-14th, 2017, Stanford, California, USA: 3147-3154. Reprint

Lienhart W., Kalenjuk S., Ehrhart C. (2017): Efficient and Large Scale Monitoring of Retaining Walls along Highways using a Mobile Mapping System. Proc. 8th Int. Conf. on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure – SHMII-8, Brisbane, Australia: RS3-11, 8 p. PDF

Kalenjuk S., Lienhart W., Rebhan M., Marte R. (2018) Neue Ansätze zur Zustandsbewertung bestehender Stützbauwerke basierend auf 3D-Modellen aus dynamischem Laserscanning, Proc. Messen in der Geotechnik 2018. Stahlmann, J. (Hrsg.). Braunschweig: Institut für Grundbau und Bodenmechanik, TU Braunschweig, Band 104: S. 15 - 36 Reprint



This project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), project nr. 853446.